Turkmen Students Abroad Fear to Tell the Truth
The Voice of Freedom analytical bulletin of 18 January published an interesting article about Turkmen students studying in Kyrgyzstan who are afraid of tell the truth about the situation in their homeland.
Khalyk Dustyyev (which is not the true name of the author), a Turkmen student and a journalist based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, lists a number of reasons that discourage young Turkmen people from openly discussing the political situation in Turkmenistan despite the fact that they live abroad. Dustyyev reports that the students who e.g. publish critical articles about the situation in Turkmenistan are blacklisted by the border service agency and not allowed to leave their home country once they return to Turkmenistan. Secret service officers intimidate or exert pressure on their relatives. Male students are called up for obligatory military service. Young Turkmen who study abroad are forced into collaboration with the National Security Committee of Turkmenistan (NSC). The author quotes the words of students who…
…in summer of 2005 after they returned back to Turkmenistan to spend their holidays, [...] were summoned to the NSC’s office for the examination. “The NSC’s officers wanted to know what was happening in Kyrgyzstan and offered me to be their secret agent to give information about Kyrgyzstan and students who could be “dangerous” for Turkmenistan. I refused, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t offer the same thing to someone else” [...]
Turkmen students – Dustyyev concludes – have every reason to be afraid to tell the truth about human rights violations in their country and avoid discussions about political issues.
He also writes that there are special secret service officers who read foreign print and on-line media outlets. I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to greet my “guardian angel”. I wish you a pleasant reading and invite you to comment my posts!